News; May 25, 2009 CET

Martin Källström taking helm for North Europe

During Martin Källström’s time at SCA Hygiene Products he has gained experience within many different management positions such as local market organizations, manufacturing, R&D and global category organizations. He is now taking helm for Swedish Match North Europe Division and the new smokefree division to be created.

Martin, what experiences do you bring?

“From my positions in SCA, I have gained management experience from strategy development, manufacturing, innovation, local markets both in and outside Sweden. Due to different categories, channels and geographies the task challenges have varied a lot over the years. My interest for the consumers and customers has always been the red thread throughout my career.”

What are your strengths?

“I am action- and result orientated and I have a positive attitude. I always work with a high engagement level. Since I have been in leading positions for an international organization for many years, I have developed a capability to work with different cultures. One major insight from these years is to build on the diversity and differences and create a competitive edge for the company.  My background from different competence areas has helped me understanding the business from a broad company perspective and by that helping me making right priorities and decisions.”

Why Swedish Match?

“Swedish Match has a long successful history with a very competent organization. Swedish Match has developed many of their markets and brands into successful high performance units. I hope I can contribute with experience from different categories and a global business very much built on strong brands.”

What are the benefits, as you see it, of working with global organizations?

“A global organization can of course be highly complex, and to create an effective global organization you need clear goals, clear areas of responsibility and a common way of working. My experience is that working through efficient networks we can create a stronger learning culture both from an internal perspective as well as an external perspective. For Swedish Match a common division for smokefree products gives a better critical mass for expansion. It also gives a prerequisite for right priorities for a total snus business from a Swedish Match perspective.”

What is your view on leadership?

“A good leadership always begins with respecting others. I strongly believe that if everyone is motivated and feel committed to good cooperation, it definitely creates lots of energy and good results. As a leader you have to be consistent in your decisions, and stick to them. Clear goals, areas of responsibility, and the ability to use your own initiative, are essential for an effective organization.”

What is your view on brand development?

“For consumer-goods companies to succeed, the brands need to be built on a well grounded insight about the consumers and the target groups. The brands also need a clear strategy and a consistent execution over time. Consumers shall feel confident and recognize the quality, format and appearance of their brand, year after year.

What are the challenges for a consumer-goods company of today?

“There are many challenges, one is to develop the right and relevant innovations. Companies need to build their innovation portfolio on relevant consumer insight which is a challenging and time consuming process. The innovations and brand development must be consistent in terms of quality, format and appearance.
A challenge within consumer insight work lies in “seeing inside” the consumer, understand the environment where he or she is acting in, and finally developing the right offer.

Furthermore, sales and distribution needs to be secured, today there is a very tough competition in this field. I believe the new Joint Venture with Philip Morris International will create a great opportunity for Swedish Match to distribute our smokefree products outside existing markets.”

And last but not least, what is your personal relation to snus?

“The fact that I don’t use snus means that I completely rely on listening to our consumers. You can draw a comparison between the brands I’ve worked with before; I didn’t wear sanitary products either. The important thing is to know what triggers consumers’ needs. And who knows, maybe I’ll get a taste for snus?”